Two days before the federal election The People’s Party of Canada Association fired back at its former president of the Kelowna-Lake Country district, who resigned while making accusations of racism within the party.
Daniel Joseph is running as an independent in the Kelowna-Lake Country riding after leaving the PCC party in March. Joseph announced his resignation in a video he posted to Facebook on March 29.
“Unfortunately, this party that shouted from the rooftops it was different, has proven to me that it isn’t different at all,” Joseph said in the post. “They are allowing racist, xenophobic, homophobic and downright hateful people into positions of authority and influence.”
Among those people Joseph was referring to was Glen Walushka, who was then the party’s provincial coordinator.
A release from the PPC Association on Saturday discredited Joseph’s accusations, saying the party has worked hard to “dispel any accusations that were directed at us and the party.”
The release pointed to an earlier response from Walushka: “The Kelowna-Lake Country PPC Association has always maintained that there was no basis for the allegations that were brought forth by Daniel Joseph only after he was removed from his position as the elected President of the Kelowna-Lake Country PPC Association.”
The PPC’s statement also referenced a Globe and Mail story published on Friday night, which reported that the Conservative Party of Canada paid Daisy Group – a consulting firm owned by Warren Kinsella – to discredit the party, in part by pushing messages of racism within the party on social media. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has so far declined to comment on whether his party used the firm to spread disinformation.
The smear campaign is said to have taken place from April 16 through June 30.
“That is around the time that Daniel Joseph made his claims,” said Peter Neville, the PPC’s CEO of Kelowna-Lake Country.
Neville said the timeline of the Kinsella campaign coincided with Joseph’s comments and departure from the party, and was also around the time that Walushka’s email account appeared to have been hacked. In June it was reported that the PPC appeared to be the target of cyber fraud, spreading false emails from the PPC’s top organizers in an effort to make them appear racist.
“All we know is that according to the Globe, the plan was in place around about the time that Glen Walushka’s email was hacked and false emails were sent out – many of them mentioning racism. Whether Daniel had anything to do with this or not we don’t know,” said Neville.
“We can’t say that any of these are connected but we do have a lot of coincidental stuff going on,” he added.
On Saturday Joseph responded to the PPC’s disavowal of his past comments by saying he still stands by them “100 per cent.”
Joseph also rejected any implication that he was connected to the email hacking, or to yesterday’s revelations related to Kinsella.
“By bringing up my name and then bringing up Kinsella, that’s what it sounds like they’re trying to say,” he said.
“I don’t know the exact timeline of the Kinsella thing, but they are two completely separate events. They’ve got nothing to do with each other.”